Pain-free treatment for ED
New shockwave therapy eliminates the need for drugs, invasive surgery or painful treatment.
BY: Eleanor Yap
American Robert Smith (a pseudonym), who is in his late 70s, had complained of poor erection for the last three years. He shared: “It may have come from surgeries as a result of the enlargement of the prostate (with the latest surgery being about three years ago).” The doctor gave him Viagra-type drugs, however, he said: “it did help but not all the time”.
Then in March this year, he tried Singapore’s first and only Erectile Dysfunction Shockwave Therapy (EDSWT) system at Gleneagles Hospital. “During the first session with the therapy, I saw remarkable improvement. After six sessions, it got better and better; I was really happy with the results.”
He added: “You have better sex with your wife, that is the beauty of it.” Smith has been married for over 25 years and has one child between him and his wife, and three others from a previous marriage. “I would strongly recommend the therapy. For anyone in their 70s onwards, it revitalises the prostate glands!”
Drug- & pain-free
The new EDSWT system, the ED1000, uses ultrasound-like, low-intensity shockwaves to stimulate the creation of new micro-vascular blood vessels. These new vessels increase blood supply to achieve fuller and firmer erections. Unlike other treatments, EDSWT treats the cause of the problem rather than just manage the symptoms. Also, other ED treatments often includes oral or locally-injected medications, vacuum pump or implants, but EDSWT is a drug- and pain-free option and with no side effects.
The therapy is conducted in the clinic as an outpatient procedure (hence the treatment is not covered under Medisave) and it does not require sedation. A typical course of EDSWT consists of the standard six 20-minute sessions done twice a week for three weeks and the total cost of the treatment is S$3,500. According to Dr Peter Lim, medical director of Andrology, Urology & Continence Centre at Gleneagles Hospital, more severe cases may require up to 12 sessions done over nine weeks.
The EDSWT treatment has been successfully completed on eight patients at Gleneagles Hospital with exceptional results and Dr Lim is seeing another 20 new patients. He added that improvements to erectile function have been reported as early as two weeks from the start of the treatment, and noticeable improvements can be seen two months after starting treatment.
Latest studies also show that the effects of EDSWT have lasted over two years without the need for additional treatment or reliance on costly long-term oral and locally-injected medicine. Some patients who have had no success with other ED treatments have reported positive results after undergoing EDSWT.
ED is a common condition among men that makes it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. A study done on Singaporean men in 2003 revealed that as many as 19.3 percent of men above age 30 suffer from severe ED. The most prevalent cause of this problem is insufficient blood flow to the penis, sometimes caused by health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.